VMHC Logo Verdugo Mental Health Center

A multi-site mental health organization bringing a variety of professional services to the Glendale area.




Application: Client Records and Communications.
Servers (3): AAx K6 running Caldera Linux, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98.
Network: TCP/IP & NetBIOS over Fast Ethernet 100BaseT.
Workstations: 21 PCs (19 are AAx) running Windows 98
World Connect: modems, Frame Relay.
Client since: 1996.
AAx Does: Network design, computers, cabling, network, support, maintenance.

Headquarters Established in 1957, Verdugo Mental Health Center has six program facilities in the greater Glendale area. Shown here is the main Adult Services facility which also serves as the administrative offices.

Automation Access partners with Personalized Computer Systems on the VMHC account. Personalized Computer is the planning and software consultant, while Automation Access provides system consulting, network design, installation, network support and maintenance.

Workstation VMHC's main application is a custom developed Client Information database written in Microsoft Access. This is a Windows application so software is installed on each workstation, but all data is on a central Linux server.

Servers Linux is a "lights out" system, so the main server can share a locked wiring closet with the alarm and telephone stuff. Administration is done by modem from the AAx office, and staff need only open the closet to change backup tapes.

The shorter computer is the remote access host. Three computers at two other offices use NetOp to access the Client Information database through this computer. A single monitor and keyboard are shared with the Linux server.

The monitor is sitting on a Frame Relay router installed by County Health Services. This router connects the VMHC network to the county's systems so several workstations on the network can directly access the county's databases. All local computers have "private" IP addresses to prevent invasion from outside the network.

Child Studies Center The Glen Roberts Child Study Center is a "stand alone" facility with its own reception area, phone system and network, but it is close enough to Adult Services to share the Linux server.

Glen Roberts uses the same Client Information software and database as Adult Services, but their other work is kept in a separate server share. A single Cat-5 cable connects separate Ethernet hubs in the two buildings.

Glendale Family Services The Glendale Family Service facility is a few miles away from Adult Services, and it's work is quite different, so this facility has its own server and uses an entirely different software package.

One of the computers in the GFS facility does need to use the Client Information database on the Adult Services server, but not continuously, so it uses NetOp and a modem to go in through the remote access host.

Server The GFS server runs Windows NT v4.0. The choice of operating systems was dictated by the software vendor. Although the database engine they use was already available in a Linux version, they had no experience with it and declined to support it at the time.

With Windows NT, server administration is a little more hassle than at Adult Services. For some tasks, such as checking backups, NetOp is used to access the server from a workstation, but when the server must be restarted (NT needs to restart every month or so), a screen and keyboard are borrowed from a nearby workstation.

GFS' network is very simple, three workstations connected by patch cables to a hub that sits on top of the server, and one stand-alone computer (the one that uses the Adult Services database).

©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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